Standardizing Well being Insurance coverage is a Undesirable Notion
In a letter to the editor in USA Today, Uwe Reinhardt of the Woodrow Wilson College of Public and
Global Affairs at Princeton University place forth the idea that wellness insurance businesses could
obtain economies of scale if wellness insurance policy policies had been standardized throughout all
fifty states into a number of basic types. Reinhardt compares his "a person size suits all" model for well
being insurance policy to the small business model of such restaurant chains as KFC, McDonald's, and
Burger King or lodges this kind of as Getaway Inn and Marriott.
What Mr. Reinhardt fails to appreciate is that although these corporations have standardized their
personal business, they do not stand for the complete market place. For illustration, even though KFC
has standardized its chicken recipe throughout its complete chain and a McDonald's burger and fries
tastes the exact same from New York to L.A., shoppers are not limited to these options. As a substitute,
buyers have their alternative of hundreds of eating places, both standardized franchises and
nonstandard Mom-and-Pop eateries.
Even within the chains that Mr. Reinhardt cites, individuals are not minimal to a single choice. In KFC,
diners can pick from first recipe, more crispy, grilled, chicken strips, chicken sandwiches, pot pie, or
wings. Once you ultimately make a decision on your chicken, determining on side dishes can be
similarly challenging. If the KFC is also a combination Taco Bell, then there are even far more choices.
Dining establishments are also continually innovating and introducing new items to entice customers,
which more expands the alternatives offered.
In Mr. Reinhardt's environment, individuals would be restricted to a standardized and constrained
menu. They would not be in a position to choose from foods that are restricted only by the
restaurateur's creativity and the diner's daring. It would be a decision in between the bland but reliable
menu of burgers and fries versus the potential to go where ever and eat whatever you want. Thank you
to competitive markets and revolutionary business owners, diners can select from burgers, pizza,
steaks, seafood, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Thai, or pretty much any food that they crave.
In different parts of the country, diners have distinct tastes. In Georgia, we enjoy superior barbecue and
fried chicken. A hometown organization, Chick-fil-a, is a single of the most common chains in Atlanta,
but can scarcely be observed in the north and west. In other parts of the country, this sort of as the
northeast, seafood is king. New York is identified for its skinny-crust pizza. In Miami, you can locate
excellent Cuban and Latino foods. In Texas, they like their barbecue, but with beef alternatively of
pork. In the southwest, you will come across a Mexican taste. When you get to California, you may be
stuck with greens and tofu unless you can uncover an In-n-Out Burger. Would it be doable to try to
standardize the various tastes, wishes and needs of a region of 300 million people into a solitary
standardized menu? Would it be intelligent to even attempt?
In the overall health insurance environment, getting nonstandard policies suggests that shoppers can
choose what is essential to them. If a youthful individual only would like protection for emergency
accidents or diseases, then he can select and low-cost, high deductible approach. Seniors may possibly
want a reduce-deductible plan with much more protection for prescriptions and preventive treatment. If
you are a male or woman who cannot have children, then you would probably not value maternity
protection in a health policy and may possibly very well object to paying out for a coverage that you
will not need.
Allowing corporations to innovate and carry nonstandard polices to the insurance market is the greatest
way to broaden health insurance coverage coverage. Governments should permit shoppers to choose
the plan that finest meets their overall health insurance policy demands, not be compelled to purchase
the method that a bureaucrat deems to be the very best appeal for everyone. Folks are individuals. They
have different wants and requirements. Regulators require to comprehend that.
As an alternative of restricting alternatives to a number of standardized policies, governments and
overall health insurers ought to take a cue from the restaurant entire world and grow the readily
available choices to permit folks get the coverage that greatest fits their needs. As the Burger King
would say, "Have it your way."